Index Editor

Organize the contents of a book or document into an index.
picture of Index Editor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $97,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Index Editors do?

When you’re working on your homework and you turn to the back of the textbook to look up what page “Abraham Lincoln” is found on, you’re referencing an index. An Index Editor, not the Author of the book, is the one who determines what needs to be in the index, making things easier for all readers.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with putting everything in order, keeping detailed lists, and arranging objects into groups. If you’re an Index Editor, you enjoy organizing more than anything, and you’re extremely detail orientated in everything you do. One missed index entry and an Index Editor could leave students hopelessly trying to look up information on that capital city, or that species of carnivorous fish, lost in a sea of information.

As you consolidate the terms taken from a book to be edited down into an index, you decide if it’s going to be laid out by location, or alphabetically. If you’re allowed a long index (more than a few pages), you have more freedom on what to include, but it may take much more effort to collect the pertinent terms. If you’re working for a Publisher, you might even get to arrange the glossaries, bibliographies, and footnotes.

The backs of books aren’t the only index you can get your hands on, however. You can also create filing systems for archives, or even work with something as vast as a library’s index. Any place that has a large collection of information — hospitals, patent offices, museums — would benefit from having your organizational bug released on their files.

Should I be an Index Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Editor, Index, Industrial Editor

    How to become an Index Editor

    Most Index Editors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:bff9ce&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2875%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,75
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